Revisiting the Classics: Nowhere

  • Saturday, March 2, 2024 / 2:00 PM - 4:30 PM (PST)
  • Pollock Theater
  • Screening Format: Sony 4K Digital Projection (82 Minutes)
  • With Gregg Araki (writer/director)
  • Starring: James Duvall, Nathan Bexton, Christina Applegate, Debi Mazar

Recently restored from its original 35mm negative and re-released in 4K, Gregg Araki’s Nowhere (1997) is a nervy, kinetic classic of the New Queer Cinema. Nowhere revolves around the zany, polymorphously perverse lives of the young, beautiful, and doomed drifting through the sunbaked inferno of Los Angeles. The movie is the grand finale of Gregg Araki’s Teen Apocalypse Trilogy, which began with Totally F***ed Up (1993) and The Doom Generation (1995). Featuring early performances from the likes of Christina Applegate, Traci Lords, Debi Mazar, Shannon Doherty, and Heather Graham, and needle drops from Portishead, Nine Inch Nails, Slowdive, Sonic Youth and other iconic bands of the period, Nowhere bristles with millenial angst and desire. As nostalgia for the 1990s and early 2000s sweeps contemporary pop culture, shaping everything from fashion trends to the sound of the Top 40, Nowhere invites us to revisit the so-called “end of history” by offering a raucous, crackling portrait of SoCal teenhood at the end of the millennium.

In this event, writer/director and alumnus of the UCSB Film and Media Studies program Gregg Araki joined Bhaskar Sarkar (Film and Media Studies, UCSB) for a post-screening discussion of Nowhere. 

This event was cosponsored by KCSB-FM 91.9. The team at KCSB had curated a special playlist inspired by Nowhere and Araki’s wider body of work; check it out below!


Gregg Araki attends a 'Mysterious Skin' Premiere photo call during Sundance London 2023 at Picturehouse Central, London on 8 July, 2023

Writer/director Gregg Araki

Gregg Araki earned an MFA in Film Production from the USC School of Cinema/TV and a BA in Film Studies from UC Santa Barbara. His films have screened at the world’s most renowned festivals including Sundance, Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Toronto, New York, London, and Deauville.

Araki has made eleven acclaimed independent features including White Bird in a Blizzard (2014), Kaboom (2011), Smiley Face (2007), Mysterious Skin (2005), Splendor (1999), Nowhere (1997), The Doom Generation (1995), Totally F***ed Up (1994), and The Living End (1992). He has also directed episodes of numerous TV shows including Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story, American Gigolo, Thirteen Reasons Why, Red Oaks, Riverdale, Heathers, and American Crime. In 2019, Araki created, co-wrote, and directed ten episodes of Now Apocalypse, a Starz series that he executive produced with Steven Soderbergh and Gregory Jacobs.


Moderator Bhaskar Sarkar (Film and Media, UCSB)

Bhaskar Sarkar is the author of Mourning the Nation: Indian Cinema in the Wake of Partition (Duke University Press, 2009), a critical exploration of the cinematic traces of a particular historical trauma. He has coedited the collections Documentary Testimonies: Global Archives of Suffering (Routledge, 2009), Asian Video Cultures: In the Penumbra of the Global (Duke University Press, 2017), and The Routledge Handbook of Media and Risk (Routledge, 2020). He has also coedited two journal special issues: Postcolonial Studies (2005), on “The Subaltern and the Popular” and BioScope: South Asian Screen Studies (2012), on “Indian Documentary Studies.” At present, he is completing a monograph titled Cosmoplastics: Bollywood’s Global Gesture. He has also begun work on a monograph about piratical practices in the Global South, and a second monograph on queer underground club cultures in millennial Los Angeles.

 This event is co-sponsored by the Carsey-Wolf Center and KCSB.

Revisiting the Classics

What happens when a film becomes a “classic”? The Carsey-Wolf Center’s 2023-24 feature series Revisiting the Classics engages creatively and critically with our filmic past, approaching it with fresh eyes and novel interpretive lenses. Not simply a celebration of the “great works,” Revisiting the Classics will consider how classic texts have shaped the work of contemporary filmmakers, how complicated questions of politics and aesthetics emerge through practices of adaptation and interpretation, and how the changing landscape of film distribution, archiving, preservation, and critique affects the formation of canon and the making of new “classics.”

Storytelling for the Screen

Since their emergence, cinema and television have been in a state of constant technological and industrial flux. But even as our ways of distributing and accessing moving images have changed, and even as tastes and styles continue shifting with the times, our passion for compelling onscreen storytelling persists. At the Carsey-Wolf Center, we are committed to fostering a nuanced understanding of cinematic and televisual storytelling across genres, formats, styles, and historical periods. To this end, we sponsor a wide range of events, programs, and workshops designed to cultivate a new generation of media storytellers, and to help audiences better understand the evolving role of narrative across diverse media forms.